Elvis Presley - MYSTERY TRAIN

First performance: 28/12/1980


Coverinfo

Bruce covered the song 23 times :

The classic Presley version was added to the "Detroit medley" from 28 November 1980. It's been performed since, once each in 1995, 1998, 2000 and 2003, before becoming a frequent part of the 2006 Seeger Sessions band tour.
 
 
1980-11-28 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
"Detroit Medley" includes a one-off "Mystery Train".
 
1985-01-18 - GREENSBORO COLISEUM, GREENSBORO, NC
 
1995-04-12 - CARNEGIE HALL, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Rainforest Fund Concert)
 
1998-10-11 - SPRINGSTEEN RESIDENCE, COLTS NECK, NJ (Gotham Playboys)
belated outdoor birthday bash for Bruce at his farm property, originally planned for September 23 but had been delayed due to poor weather. As they had the previous year, NYC-based Cajun-roots band The Gotham Playboys (who would form the core of the Sessions Band when they first assembled in the fall of 1998) provide the entertainment. Bruce joins them for several songs . Party guests include Steven Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Jon Bon Jovi and Sheryl Crow. The Gotham Playboys : New York City based bluegrass/roots band. Springsteen's first involvement with the band was in September 1997, when they performed at his birthday party in Colts Neck. Bruce had heard about the band from Soozie Tyrell, who occasionally played live gigs with them. Bruce allegedly joined in on some songs during the party. A few weeks later, Springsteen would hire several members of the group (Jeremy Chatzky, Sam Bardfeld, Larry Eagle, Mark Clifford, and Charles Giordano) to back him during a November 2nd 1997 recording session at Bruce’s home studio undertaken for the purpose of contributing a song for a planned spring 1998 Pete Seeger charity album. This group would eventually become The Sessions Band.
 
2000-10-21 - HEDGEROW FARM, MIDDLETOWN, NJ (Special People United to Ride Benefit)
 
2003-08-01 - GILLETTE STADIUM, FOXBOROUGH, MA
 
  • Bruce starts to use ‘Mystery train ‘ in a mash-up with Cadillac Ranch during the Seeger Sessions tour .

2006-04-24 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK, NJ (Rehearsal Show)
 
2006-04-25 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK, NJ (Rehearsal Show)
 
2006-04-26 - CONVENTION HALL, ASBURY PARK, NJ (Rehearsal Show)
 
2006-05-07 - MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS ARENA, MANCHESTER, ENGLAND
 
2006-05-08 - HAMMERSMITH APOLLO, LONDON, ENGLAND
 
2006-05-10 - PALAIS OMNISPORTS DE PARIS-BERCY, PARIS, FRANCE
 
2006-05-12 - DATCH FORUM, MILAN, ITALY
 
2006-05-16 - HEINEKEN MUSIC HALL, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
 
2006-05-17 - FESTHALLE, FRANKFURT, GERMANY
 
(Cadillac starts 41:20 - Mystery Train starts at 44:15)
 
2006-05-27 - TWEETER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, MANSFIELD, MA
 
2006-05-28 - NISSAN PAVILION, BRISTOW, VA
 
 
2006-06-16 - BLOSSOM MUSIC CENTER, CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH
 
2006-06-17 - DTE ENERGY MUSIC THEATRE, CLARKSTON, MI
 
2006-06-24 - PNC BANK ARTS CENTER, HOLMDEL, NJ
 
 
2014-11-05 - THE THEATER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY
Bruce performs at the eighth Stand Up for Heroes benefit. The annual show helps raise funds for injured service members and is Springsteen's first public performance in over five months. Bruce plays a five-song acoustic set and auctions two special packages consisting of a guitar, an hour lesson on how to play it, a lasagne dinner at his house and a ride in the sidecar of his motorcycle. One of the guitars is purchased by NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France and his wife, Amy. " Bruce sings a snippet of "Mystery Train" at the conclusion of the auction. The auctions raised $600,000 for the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which helps military service members and their families after they return home. The event raised a total of $6 million for the Foundation.
 

Songinfo

"Mystery Train" is a song written and recorded by American blues musician Junior Parker in 1953. Originally performed in the style of a Memphis blues or rhythm and blues tune, it was inspired by earlier songs and later became a popular rockabilly song, with recordings by Elvis Presley and others. Elvis Presley's version of "Mystery Train" was first released on August 20, 1955, as the B-side of "I Forgot to Remember to Forget".  Sam Phillips at Sun Studios again produced the recoridng, and featured Presley on vocals and rhythm guitar. Toward the end of the record is an echo of the 1946 "Sixteen Tons" by Merle Travis. For Presley's version of "Mystery Train", Scotty Moore also borrowed the guitar riff from Junior Parker's "Love My Baby" (1953), played by Pat Hare. "Mystery Train" is now considered to be an "enduring classic". It was the first recording to make Elvis Presley a nationally known country music star. Music historian Colin Escott noted "One of the mysteries about 'Mystery Train' was where the title came from; it was mentioned nowhere in the song". The song uses lyrics similar to those found in the traditional American folk music group Carter Family's "Worried Man Blues", itself based on an old Celtic ballad, and their biggest selling record of 1930 : 
 
The train arrived sixteen coaches long
The train arrived sixteen coaches long
The girl I love is on that train and gone
Parker's lyrics include:
Train I ride sixteen coaches long
Train I ride sixteen coaches long
Well, that long black train carries my baby home
 
 
 
 
 

Other cover versions

 
  • In 1973, with the approval of Sam Phillips, Robbie Robertson of the Band wrote additional lyrics for "Mystery Train", and the group recorded this version of the song for their Moondog Matinee album. They later performed the song with Paul Butterfield for their 1976 "farewell" concert The Last Waltz.

Bruce on the artist

01.08.03 Boston, MA, intro to "Mystery Train"

"I wanna send this out tonight....just lost one of the great, great, great fathers of rock and roll ....without whom which none of us would be here tonight, we´ll send this out to for the memory of the great, great Sam Phillips.."

Junior Parker, recorded "Mystery Train" for producer/Sun Records owner Sam Phillips. He was the founder of Sun Records and Sun Studio, in Memphis, Tennessee, where he produced recordings by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Howlin' Wolf. He launched Presley's career in 1954. 
 
Whenever he could, Bruce would mention the enormous influence, Elvis had on him and on his music. Elvis is the most covered artist by Bruce (23 times) together with Chuck Berry, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan. The Influence of Elvis on Bruce, is described in a documentary compiled from previously existing footage by Dennis P. Laverty, a former Old Bridge resident who now lives in Staten Island (and who calls Springsteen and Elvis Presley "my two favorite rock stars". He used concert footage and previously released interview segments with Springsteen and various rock experts to show just how important Elvis Presley was to Springsteen.
 
 
 
Rollingstone

"It's a cliché story, but watching Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show changed Bruce Springsteen's entire life. "It was the evening I realized a white man could make magic," he said in 2012, "that you did not have to be constrained by your upbringing, by the way you looked, or by the social context that oppressed you. You could call upon your own powers of imagination, and you could create a transformative self." He urged his mother to buy him a guitar after that, and in 1976 he went to Graceland after a Memphis show and even hopped the fence in a failed effort to meet the King himself. Elvis died during the recording of Darkness on the Edge of Town, right as Springsteen was hoping the King would cover his new song "Fire." Springsteen channeled his sorrow into "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)," which later morphed into "Factory."

keynote speech :

"In the beginning, every musician has their genesis moment. For you, it might have been the Sex Pistols, or Madonna, or Public Enemy. It's whatever initially inspires you to action. Mine was 1956, Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was the evening I realized a white man could make magic, that you did not have to be constrained by your upbringing, by the way you looked, or by the social context that oppressed you. You could call upon your own powers of imagination, and you could create a transformative self. A certain type of transformative self, that perhaps at any other moment in American History, might have seemed difficult, if not impossible. And I always tell my kids that they were lucky to be born in the age of reproducible technology, otherwise they'd be traveling in the back of a wagon and I'd be wearing a jester's hat. It's all about timing. The advent of television and its dissemination of visual information changed the world in the fifties the way the internet has over the past twenty years. Remember, it wasn't just the way Elvis looked, it was the way he moved that made people crazy, pissed off, driven to screaming ecstasy, and profane revulsion. That was television. When they made an attempt to censor him from the waist down, it was because of what you could see happening in his pants. Elvis was the first modern Twentieth Century man, the precursor of the Sexual Revolution, of the Civil Rights Revolution, drawn from the same Memphis as Martin Luther King, creating fundamental, outsider art that would be embraced by a mainstream popular culture. Television and Elvis gave us full access to a new language, a new form of communication, a new way of being, a new way of looking, a new way of thinking; about sex, about race, about identity, about life; a new way of being an American, a human being; and a new way of hearing music. Once Elvis came across the airwaves, once he was heard and seen in action, you could not put the genie back in the bottle. After that moment, there was yesterday, and there was today, and there was a red hot, rockabilly forging of a new tomorrow, before your very eyes."

Lyrics

Train I ride, sixteen coaches long
Train I ride, sixteen coaches long
Well, that long black train got my baby and gone
Train, train, comin' 'round the bend
Train, train, comin' 'round the bend
Well, it took my baby, but it never will again
No, not again
Train, train, comin' down, down the line
Train, train, comin' down, down the line
Well, it's bringin' my baby 'cause she's mine, all mine
She's mine, all mine
Train, train, comin' 'round, 'round the bend
'Round, 'round the bend
Train, train, comin' 'round, 'round the bend
'Round, 'round the bend
Well, it took my baby, but it never will again
Never will again